Christian sites in the Lower Galilee

Nazareth

Nazareth is the capital of the Lower Galilee and the largest Arab city in the country, but above all Nazareth is the city of Jesus, the founder of Christianity named after the city of Nazareth. The Bible hardly mentions the young Jesus and we do not know about his life in Nazareth until he was thirty years old. He spent most of his time in the Torah and in the work he did, as a firstborn son, he was forced to support the family after the death of his father. Jesus' father was a carpenter who taught his son his art. Nazareth is sacred to Christians because it sheds light on the sacred family, which is from Nazareth, and especially Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Link to Nazareth cultural & tourism association


Nazareth Village

Nazareth Village is a living history farm and village that gives visitors the opportunity to step into the Bible and experience everyday life at the time of Jesus and Mary.  Here you can see homes, olive presses, figures dressed in traditional period costume and see demonstrations of traditional crafts and domestic chores from 2,000 years ago. The site offers an interactive experience where you can try your hand at different activities.


Mary's Well

Mary's well is a Sabil (public water facility trough was a gathering place for the city's residents and passers-by) located in the spring square in the city of Nazareth. According to Orthodox tradition, the Virgin used to draw water from the spring where the angel Gabriel told her of the birth of Jesus. The source of the spring is a cave located thirty meters north of the Orthodox Church of the Annunciation.

 

Church of Annunciation

The Annunciation Church in Nazareth stands on the site believed to have been the Virgin Mary’s childhood home. According to Christian Catholic tradition it is also where the Angel Gabriel appeared before her and told her of her future son, the Messiah. The appearance of Gabriel, his announcement and Mary’s consent to be the mother of God is known as the Annunciation.  A statue of young Mary as she would have been when the angel came to her overlooks the southern entrance welcoming visitors.

 

Church of St. Joseph

The church is believed to be situated where Christ’s earthly father, Joseph once had his home and carpentry workshop. This would then have become the home of Mary as well following their marriage. The location first became recognized as the home of the holy family in the 17th century when texts referred to it as "the house and workshop of Joseph.” The Church of Saint Joseph’s Carpentry is within the same complex as the Basilica of the Annunciation together with the Franciscan convent Terra-Santa.


Mount of Precipitation

Just south of Nazareth is Mt. Precipitation overlooking the Yizreal Valley and Mount Tabor. Mount of Precipitation is the place where according to Christian tradition, people of Nazareth tried to throw Jesus to his death, but he jumped into the abyss and fled from them. The official name of the mountain is "Mount Kedumim ".

The Municipality of Nazareth and KKL-JNF have developed special routes for walking on the mountain and panoramas with a lovely view. Excavations at the Mount of Precipitation uncovered the Qafzeh Cave which held prehistoric remains including 13 Neanderthal-era skeletons dating back 100,000 years.


Kfar Kana

Kfar Kana is an Arab town about 7km northeast of Nazareth in the Lower Galilee. The town is famed as the site of the New Testament miracle performed by Jesus when he turned water into wine at a wedding feast. This first miracle is significant in strengthening the disciples’ faith in Jesus. This event is also referred to as the first of Jesus’ signs and as his first public miracle.

Today visitors to Kana can see the Franciscan Wedding Church. This small church has a front courtyard and a modest façade adorned with angel sculptures. The façade is flanked by twin bell towers and the building is topped by a dome.

The Greek Orthodox Church of the Marriage Feast is an alternative site of the miracle and stands across from the Franciscan Wedding Church. This church holds two stone jars which some believe to be two of the original jars used by Jesus but they could also be early baptismal fonts.

 

Mount Tabor

Just 9km east of Nazareth is the Mount of Transfiguration where Christians believe this to be the site of the transfiguration of Jesus. The event described in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 17 of the New Testament, describes the changing of Jesus before his disciples and his meeting with Moses and Elijah the prophet. Christians see this event as analogous to the biblical revelation at Mount Sinai.

Today the mount is a popular hiking and hand gliding site. Visitors can go to the hill top church Franciscan Basilica or the Greek Church on the eastern slope.

Christian sites in the Lower Galilee

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